🎭 Someone of Significance
📍 VAULT Festival – Network Theatre
🎫 PR invite

Written by Amalia Kontesi and directed by Sam Tannenbaum, Someone of Significance explores whether love is enough for two people with nothing in common. Will structural barriers and personal beliefs keep them apart or is their connection strong enough to remain together?

The story

We meet Brad and Rosie (Simon Bass and Funlola Olufunwa) colleagues who work for a multinational banking corporation. They hail from different backgrounds, hold opposing views, and are believed to have nothing in common. Despite this, they soon begin an affair (Brad is married!) and fall in love.

As time goes by, their careers take different paths. Rosie turns to politics, holding strong views opposing gentrification. Brad disagrees, believing the new development will bring in opportunities for the community. We witness Rosie’s rise to prominence as a leftwing politician, running for president and continuing advocacy for workers’ rights. Despite Rosie and Brad’s differences in beliefs, they still share their love for one another and continue their secret relationship, hidden away in hotel rooms.

My thoughts

The story intrigued me; I was at least hoping for some in-depth discussion on politics, but what we had was quite a concise overview. Kontesi’s script veered towards ‘rom-com’ territory, and the character’s discussions surrounding societal issues, politics, and structural barriers, were never fully fleshed out.

I did enjoy Rosie and Brad’s debate on the impact of gentrification as both raised interesting arguments. It’s also a timely topic as gentrification is affecting many cities across the world. The script would have gained strength by delving further into these issues, and tying them into the character’s professional and personal opinions, especially as they came from different backgrounds. 

It’s hinted that Brad didn’t ‘have’ to work for his career in contrast to Rosie. As the play was only 60 minutes, there wasn’t enough time to get to know the characters and explore this, so I was left making assumptions. Olunfunwa and Bass gave their best efforts, but the chemistry between the actors was lacking. This made it quite difficult to believe in Rosie and Brad’s relationship and ultimately connect with the story.

The second half of the performance was stronger and included some humorous moments. I enjoyed the staging of the characters in one scene as they stood side by side, showing the contrast between their new lives. The set design is minimal, with two rail wardrobes on either side of the stage. Our characters underwent numerous outfit changes, as political sound bites played in the background. This went on for too long and interrupted the show’s pacing. I also didn’t see the necessity of the costume changes, for they didn’t add to the narrative.

Someone of Significance is a work in progress. Kontesi clearly has great ideas to share, though the execution needs improvements. The themes are strong, the characters have potential – these could be linked cleverly with the current political climate in the USA. Hopefully, over time, there will be a refocus on making this an engaging political-romance drama.